MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Once again, the Basilica of Saint Mary opened its doors on Sunday for the annual “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony.

Pet owners could take their animals to be blessed on Sunday. It started off with a ceremony inside the church. Personal blessings took place outside afterwards.

The event is held each year to recognize St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, nature and peace. The blessing is meant to invoke a connection between people and their pets, as well as a connection with all of nature.